Start an Exercise Routine in 2013

couple after exercisingIn an ideal world, we would all be committed to healthy living and devote several hours each week to exercise. In reality, we are subjected to many other pressures and commitments that can put a halt to our best fitness intentions. The end result is that we may lose desire to develop good habits and start an exercise routine. Getting into the habit of exercising regularly can be tough, but with a few simple tips you can get motivated to develop a regular exercise regimen.

1. Don’t break a good habit

This sounds obvious but it’s true. The best way of maintaining an exercise regime is by simply not stopping in the first place. This takes some effort and a fair amount of willpower. The main thing is to avoid long breaks, and not to simply drop the routine at the first sign of a period of inactivity.

2. Have fun

There’s no point in doing something that you hate. Inevitably, you’ll give up and become demoralized. It’s far better to find a form of exercise or sport that you actually enjoy and invest your time and energy on that instead. Find a sport or activity that matches your interests and you’ll find it much easier to make a commitment that you’ll stick to.

3. Make time

Schedule a time when exercise is less likely to be pushed aside for other commitments or activities. The best time of day for exercise is either first thing in the morning or early evening, when there are fewer distractions and commitments. It’s also important to build a certain amount of flexibility into a training program so you can exercise when your schedule allows for it.

4. Make exercise a social event

Get a friend to join you. If you’ve arranged to meet a friend at the gym, you’re much less likely to skip it and more likely to remain committed. Friends can also help encourage each other during a workout, providing a much needed mental boost when the going gets tough.

5. Measure progress

Take time to measure the progress you make every week. This could involve noting a personal best or pulse rate recovery time and tracking your improvements. Measuring your progress allows you to see the fruits of your labor and serves as a powerful motivational tool.

6. Start small

Many people make the mistake of starting an exercise program with too much ambition. With the best will in the world, you’re still unlikely to succeed if you immediately try and follow a grueling and intense regime. It’s far better to start small and gradually increase the duration and intensity of your workouts, allowing your body to gradually adapt along the way.

7. Mark your calendar

Mark the days you exercise on a calendar. This serves as a quick, immediate visual check on when you last exercised and can help motivate you through rough patches. You‘ll soon see if your routine is starting to slip or if you’re ahead or behind schedule by keeping some sort of track record.

8. Concentrate on good habits, not fancy equipment

We all know people who adopt a new form of exercise and immediately rush out to buy the latest and most expensive accessories or equipment. Save your money and concentrate on establishing good habits when you first start on an exercise program. It’ll be worth much more in the long run than investing in equipment that you may have no need for.

9. Identify your weaknesses

If you’ve lost the exercise habit in the past, try to identify the reasons why. Was it the wrong sport or activity, taking on too much too soon, time pressures or lack of commitment? Being honest is important to identifying what went wrong and moving forward. Make a commitment to yourself not to repeat the same mistakes in the future, or take steps to prevent them from interfering in your new routine.

10. Stay true to yourself

The aim of any exercise routine should be to establish good habits that benefit your health and fitness. Forget trying to impress others as this form of motivation won’t last. The only way a long lasting routine can be established is if you’re doing it for your own satisfaction and self-fulfillment.


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  1. I start each New year out with "goals" rather than resolutions because when it comes to your health, it means making a life style change, not just making a quick fix for getting into that swimsuit by June. I make short term goals, once reached, I make another short term goal. This keeps me motivated and I do not become overwhelmed by the "big picture."


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